Any trainee in their puberty would be easily hooked away by her simple bow. It was only a matter of seconds before she became the center of everyone's attention. Her smile remained as gentle as her expressive eyes stared upon Ye Chong. The big guy withdrew himself the moment the lady made her debut.
The stares of the trainees were as if a thunderous shout from them saying, "Provide you yourself! Nothing else!" Even Bi Bo, who had gotten used to all sorts of women, was having his heart raced a little.
Ye Chong frowned, "What can you guys provide then?"
Oh? The lady's smile bloomed. Her eyes rolled interestingly, "Instead of that, why don't you tell us what do you need, so that we can see if there is any assistance we could provide?" It was a trade, a business from the very beginning. Whoever flashed their trump card would be destined to lose! The lady was clearly very experienced in this, and Bi Bo fancied that.
"State your catalogue," Ye Chong shook his head, knowing if he really listed out everything he needed, the lady might as well carried the entire cargo to him right away. Well he did not know what exactly he wanted at the moment, to be honest. And these men who joined the scene abruptly, hell knows what they aimed here... Wait, the big guy said something about the Bluefire. Did they come for the Bluefire reagent?
That chemical substance was nothing valuable in particular to Ye Chong. So much work just for Bluefire? But how did they know about Bluefire?
Meanwhile, Susan was getting irritated by this ignorant man. Just today she suddenly received a transmission from the authority, demanding her to head to Ze Xi academy with her men, look for a peculiarly ugly man and obtain the formula that could produce the phenomena of Dimming Blue. As communicative systems of most planets had been damaged, Zhou Jian planet was nearly utterly offline with the last few places remained connected to the world in signals so weak that not even the Virtual World survived from this and visuals could not be even transmitted directly to Susan. She eventually had to come all the way to Zhou Jian herself to get things done. It was quite a miracle that Bi Bo's stream was of private connection and the broadcast was successful. Unlike Bi Bo, Susan was running out of luck. The moment she arrived, Xiong Mocong just had to ruin her life. "You filthy pig," cursed Susan softly. Xiong Mocong possessed quite an unconventional rank in the organization, in a way that he was not a subordinate of Susan despite being under her supervision, so Susan technically could hardly enforce anything on him.
At least the situation remained under control. It was a relief to her when she was informed that a mech duel was going to happen instead. Xiong Mocong was still something at mech duels in spite of that bad temper of his.
All she had to do at the moment was to lure this boy into the lair, since clearly this boy did not look interested in a street fight without any form of incentive. This ugly boy however, gave her a different kind of sensation, a very... very unique atmosphere he exuded that was unfitting to his visual age.
The white-garbed girl by his side was also a fascination, that Xiong Mocong almost got knocked out at first. Knowing how skillful Xiong Mocong might not be as competent in a hand-on-hand, but he should not be this bad... Such horror that even a fully grown man could not hold a single attack of hers...
The remaining 600 men behind were none of her concern, as she could easily discern the dispute among them at first glance, they would be an brittle wall to break, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
"How about we heat things up? You win, you get a fancy new ride. Let's see... the new Phantom-3000? The fearsome Genocide? Or you prefer the classic model Celestial Terra-cotta?" Listed Susan some mouth-watering bets on the duel, which none of them were ordinary models at the street market. All of those models could go easily 5 million points for sale, while being the dream ride of all pilots.
"Holy Molly, did I hear Phantom-3000?"
"I saved up for my entire life just to get a battery for Genocide!"
The exclamation brewed along with whispers in the surrounding, including Bi Bo with his eyes wide open. "Such daring bet..." Whispered he, as getting intrigued of this mature-looking girl.
Well, Ye Chong might be jumping into his mech now if it was in the past. But ever since that night he knocked a grand fortune, few million points were a thing in him no longer, especially when he lacked everything else but a mech. He had enough funds to get him a handful of these so-called dream rides.
Guo the accountant of the group actually prepared Ye Chong the Great a debit card stored with a hundred million, in a fear that this great man would be at short of pennies when he left Planet Yi Ju. Nonetheless, knowing this great man was also quite a clumsy and careless one, the kind accountant broke the figure into 10 different cards stored with ten millions each. But then Ye Chong felt that was a little unnecessarily too much for his pocket to handle, so he brought 5 cards instead. Well, with 5 times ten millions each, 50 millions were more than enough to buy a dozen of these fancy rides. So, the answer was clearly...
"No thanks." The deal was off.
The audience roared again upon seeing this boy refusing such a juicy, probably once-in-a-lifetime deal, so was Susan who was literally stunned on spot.
Okay, which sane person would refuse a condition like this? Was he fearing that he could not offer a similar bet? Hmm, well then, "Are you afraid that you could not wager something even close to this? No worries, we do not expect that, we only expect you to-"
"Was it the formula for Bluefire?" interrupted Ye Chong.
Wait, how did he know our intention? Susan was shocked as her popped eyes ran through this boy with an unappealing appearance. Hmmm, he knew everything. Gasp! That means I had been in the inferior position since the very beginning... Speaking of it... I knew nothing of this boy...
"What's your name? If you would so kindly tell," bowed Susan sincerely, with her Great Valley stirring up a commotion among the spectators again. Ye Chong had ascended to formally a position of an actual opponent in her list now.
"Chen Mu." A new entry to Ye Chong's tradition of setting up pseudonym.
"Very well, Mr. Chen," smiled Susan sweetly, "Apparently Mr. Chen is incurious about our duel. How about the condition to be made by Mr. Chen instead? We are still on a deal here, aren't we?"
"One billion?" stated Ye Chong flatly.
The condition was a noise-killer as people froze their lips looking at Ye Chong. It was dead silent that somehow one could perceive that flappy sound of Bi Bo's jaw dropping.
Susan's expression stiffened, "Hah... Mr. Chen, I beg your pardon, maybe I was a little too consumed by the deal did I hear the figure-"
"A billion. No more or less. Well you could also cut the duel and purchase my formula with the price instead." His tone was indifferent, although feeling unconvinced of the potential value of this ordinary formula. But if he were to sell it, he will sell it at a good price.
"I'm very sorry...," shook Susan, "The offer from Mr. Chen was rather overwhelming that our budget could not cover." It was such a grand amount that she had to report to the authority to seek advice. "You screwed pig! Is this a daylight robbery or something? A billion? Why don't you join the billion of galaxy instead?" bellowed Xiong Mocong.
"I'm fine if you have lost interest in the deal," replied Ye Chong.
And Xiong Mocong almost could feel his fist launching at the shameless merchant before him, but Rui Bing's stare was an extinguisher to his rage. The lad was a pain nail to knock, he got to behave himself. So he stood there, trying to act unmoved.
"I see," Susan giggled. "Mr. Chen has such insightful thoughts in marketing. We could accept that outstanding offer but how would we be able to get a billion in such a short amount of time?" she said as the eyes glanced at the 600 men of Ye Chong. Dammit, I should have brought more men... Exclaimed Susan in her mind, as she once thought anybody in a young folks' home like Ze Xi academy would be literally a nobody, but this boy seemed to be a somebody. Susan got cautious since she did not hear everything from the authority in fact, thanks to the bad signals during transmission. But she could perceive that "get the formula by hook or by crook" underlying tone at least.
"How about some of your property?" Suggested Ye Chong, based on the knowledge he recently obtained from society. Apparently "waiving property for trade", "barter" and "treaty" were a thing in history, especially during wartime.
Susan's pupils rolled as she forced a smile, "That's a brilliant idea, we could consider the deal if that's what Mr. Chen desires. Hmmm, we do have a Topazite mine somewhere in Planet Tai Hui, though the expanse was not great, it could be sold for more than a billion. I wonder if Mr. Chen is pleased with our kindest offer?"
Topazite? The keyword struck Ye Chong's heart. It was a fairly common ore, nothing really amazing of it in particular. That was not the main shocker.
Upon seeing the tiny flinch he made, Bi Bo went and briefed him, "Planet Tai Hui is a pretty remote planet, situated closely to the Calamitous Asteroid Belt. While its population is low, being mostly the pirates, they would restore their supplies there, thus the horrible safety there."
Bi Bo was expecting a proper decline from Ye Chong after hearing all these threatening description, who knows, "Good." A straight reply from him...
Why you little prick stop spoiling my dea- huh?
Susan was irritated by Bi Bo's unhelpful elaboration but Ye Chong actually accepted the offer straightaway, "Did Mr. Chen give a 'yes' on our deal?" She could not believe her ears.
"Yes," Ye Chong nodded.
HAH! Susan nearly skipped as she walked. The mine had been long abandoned by her organization and never once she would see a fool falling for it today. It would be alright even if they lose. Everybody else seemed to be thinking the same, given that their eyes were in a bewilderment of seeing a drunktard nodding to a bogus deal.
"Why don't we have the deal now?" Susan seriously hopped that they could just make the exchange right now. Less hassle, less risk.
"Nope. We are dueling," replied Ye Chong affirmatively.
"Well, we would need to sign the contract then." Fearing that Ye Chong would change his mind, she quickly sent her men to retrieve the deed to the mine.
And so both of them signed the contract after the pilots returned with the deed to the mine. Ye Chong had also written down the formula of Bluefire reagent.
"Xiong, if you could win, ten millions." A brief sentence from Susan ignited Xiong Mocong's will to fight. He so would love to pounce on that guy and shred him into a gazillion pieces right when the duel began.
Xiong Mocong deployed his mech.
"That's the Steel Samurai!"
"Holy Molly! It's the Steel Samurai!"
The audience roared again, as none of them expected that graceless-looking hulk would be the famous Steel Samurai. The Steel Samurai was known to be under none of the aristocrats the whole time, yet he was there with a group. Which aristocrat does the group belong to? They were actually able to net the Steel Samurai?
The renowned fight of Steel Samurai was the time he smashed 21 mechs, alone. Unlike its fictional naming, the fight was as real as it could get. During the time he was on his way heading home on a spacecraft. And that was when he encountered around a hundred mechs of a tiny group of pirates who held immense firepower despite the measly number, since among that hundred, 25 of them were advanced models.
The spacecraft was only armed with 12 pilots that time. So what the legendary Steel Samurai did was, he led an army of 12 and faced the pirates boldly. With his formidability, he destroyed 21 mechs, all advanced models, with one of them being the leader. The happening was streamed and there were at least 500 witnesses to the battle.
And thanks to this fight, the once-a-little-star had become the superstar. Well, a hot-tempered superstar too, that not many aristocrats or major organizations could please him and he chose to be the lone wolf.
As far as you could observe, people address heroes by the name of the mech, not the pilot himself in reality, like Kyaji.
Looking at his own mech, Xiong Mocong's eyes had changed, as lustered with pride and overflowing will, coated in sedate solemnity.
Steel Samurai was the name of Xiong Mocong's mech. As its name had suggested, it was in fact a humanoid model with a steel mask covering like a samurai. The limbs were as bulky as Xiong Mocong's physique, with the shield on the left, the sword on the right - the classic setup for samurai. The surface of the body was not texturized, though one could see the tiny cuts as the badge of glory being the great samurai. Every inch of the mech was pretty well-maintained, with the joints exceptionally glowing as new.
The model was simple but no one would dare to give a disdainful look on, as the moment it stood, the history of war it had undergone could be smelled. A true war machine it was, with no pointless adornment, while setting off a cold dignity.
Ye Chong deployed Han Jia calmly.
Han Jia, like a blossom it bloomed, had once again made its debut being the butterfly of the bolts and nuts.